SAP Concur Provides Real-Time Visibility and Spend Control with New Budget Solution

According to a recent Oxford Economics report, strong profitability and revenue growth are tied to effective cost control. However, managing spend is increasingly complicated. In the last 15 years, travel spend alone has doubled to more than $1.2 trillion.*

Employee-initiated spend is today the second-largest expense in organizations.** These are spending categories, ranging from entertainment, consulting, mobile roaming charges, home office expenses, and more, shifting to employee control. When this spend data is incomplete, inaccurate, or late, budgets mean little more than a number. Managers can’t be held accountable and poor visibility inevitably leads to poor business decisions, including the dreaded company-wide “budget freeze.”

To help budget owners effectively manage resources and make better decisions, SAP Concur has announced Budget, a new solution that makes budget data visible, near real time, and actionable. Budget synthesizes data from SAP Concur solutions including Expense, Invoice, Purchase Request and Travel Request, creating a comprehensive dashboard for spend – before and after it occurs. As a result, finance leaders, sales leaders, and project managers alike can see spending events unfold. Collectively, each employee making better decisions leads to better overall financials and strengthens the bottom line.

Budget empowers everyone to see what’s happening, anticipate risks around the corner, and take action – before it’s too late. It allows companies to move beyond one-size-fits all, after-the-fact monthly budget spreadsheets. It’s holistic and flexible, whether companies map budgets to employee hierarchies or to projects. Employees can finally be held accountable to eliminate overspending, while gaining autonomy to proactively adjust spend to seize unexpected opportunities. Key features include:

  • Easy-to-consume data: Regular budgetary discipline is easy when you can see performance dashboards on both mobile and web, and budget insights embedded directly at the point of expense or invoice approval.
  • Tailored to individual employee needs: For example, set your own predetermined limits on budget buckets, or auto-email alerts when budget thresholds are reached. Set up personalized budget sub-categories to track more granularly.
  • Gain corporate control: Customizable budget approval workflows, user permissions, and audit rules help maintain policy decisions across the organization.
  • Connect deeper into the organization by integrating with financial systems via a public API.

According to a recent Gartner report, CFOs need better technology to facilitate timely analysis and decision making, monitor performance, and inform business decisions using quality data.*** Traditional budget solutions lack the flexibility, organizational scale, and ease-of-use necessary to meet these business needs. These solutions focus solely on planning, doing little to help finance leaders empower budget owners to make informed decisions based on quality data in near real-time. With Budget, line managers now have access to timely, actionable insights that were traditionally available only to the C-suite. Appropriate for companies large and small, optimizing budgets is a universal opportunity.

Budget is a new solution available to customers now. For more information, visit the budget management area of the SAP Concur website.

Jessica Staley is vice president of Product Management for SAP Concur

*Global Business Travel Association
**Juniper Research
***Gartner-FEI Study

This article originally appeared on the SAP Concur newsroom.